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The Future of Hamas and Palestine

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Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:16 am
Attolia says...

Fascinating topic in my opinion. The web of alliances in the Middle East, and how the US, Israel, and the West in general all tie into it, is some pretty interesting and complex stuff.

So Hamas and Fatah appear to be reconciling, to the fury of Israel, who told Abbas it's either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel. And you can't blame Israel for this given Hamas' actions and stated objectives. Internally, however, Hamas seems split over this reconciliation, with hard-liners opposed to relations with a group that recognizes the Jewish state. My first question is this: if the reconciliation blossoms, do you think this'll mean that Fatah's influence will soften Hamas? Or do you think Hamas' influence will led Abbas' faction to more extremism? Or a bit of both?

What do you think this possible unity could mean for the future of Palestine and Israel? I could see a great many answers to this, two main opposing views holding that 1) it's a positive development toward a two-state solution, as the Palestinians need unity to create a state, and Fatah may be able to soften Hamas in the pursuit of this, or 2) this will severely hinder the process of peace with Israel, as Hamas' presence will set the peace process back about 100 steps. Without reconciliation, Fatah and the West Bank could be able to separately come to a peace with Israel, and then a peace with Gaza could follow in the West Bank's example.

Anndddd, then what about Hamas' subtle desire to move away from Iran and Syria? The Arab Spring and its resultant strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood seems like a major game-changer for Hamas. Iran and Hamas' alliance/Iran's funding of Hamas was originally the most natural occurrence: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. But the developments in Syria have forced a switch in Hamas' stance; Hamas hasn't stood by Assad, not wanting to lose favor in the (Sunni) Arab world. Hamas wants to profit from the rising prevalence of the Brotherhood, its father organization, and alliance with the Sunni Arabs' enemy Iran undermines this. But Hamas isn't gonna do anything definite to sever their Iranian ties unless they first have solid assurance of support from a major Sunni power like Saudi Arabia, which they aren't getting.

Saudi Arabia. They're enjoying the Arab Spring developments greatly, pushing hard for the success of the Syrian popular uprising, which would mean the loss of Iran's greatest ally. So why not also facilitate the cutting of Iranian-Palestinian ties? Make Iran even more alone? My guess is they don't wanna hinder relations with us; the costs would outweigh the benefits. The American-Saudi friendship is another thing I could go on about. My dad compares it the Vito Corleone-Hyman Roth relationship. My strategic side appreciates our alliance and wants to get the fullest utilization out of it; my humanitarian side finds it disgusting. Women aren't allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. They can't leave the house without permission and a male guardian to accompany them.

So: the future of Hamas, and how it'll affect relations with Israel. Both their reconciliation with Abbas and their desires to move away from Iran and toward the Sunni countries. Your opinions?

I find this web of alliances so fascinating. But considering the lack of responses this has gotten, I gather nobody else does.
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